A Big Something….Or Not?

Lara Schopp Articles, Catherine Stark-Corn

By Rev. Catherine Stark-Corn, Interim Minister to Children and Families Sitting in the reception hall for a friend’s wedding – the music plays an engaging melody while the newly married couple takes to the dance floor. Twinkling soft lights give off a fuzzy glow that makes the space a bit …

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Lara Schopp Articles, Staff Messages

By Lara Schopp, Director of Communication A photographer friend once told me that to get one good photo, you have to take 100 shots. This was back before every mobile phone came with a decent quality camera, and I was still shooting film using 24 or 36 exposure rolls. Today, …

Woven Together

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

Last week I gathered with family for a reunion, with colleagues for a conference, with neighbors for a homes association dinner, with church leaders at a Board planning retreat, and with friends at a small dinner party.  At each gathering, I felt a mixture of belonging and discomfort.  When shall …

We Are Filling Buckets

Lara Schopp Articles, Children & Families, Connect, Staff Messages

By Lisa McCleish, Director of Early Childhood Programs The preschool classes are using the children’s book How Full is Your Bucket? as part of their curriculum this year. The book explains that every person has an imaginary bucket; when we say nice words, share toys, and help our friends or …

From Pew to Pulpit (and Back Again)

Lara Schopp Articles, Mike Graves

Dr. Mike Graves, Scholar in Residence and Minister of Spiritual Formation Occasionally, someone will ask me how long it takes me to prepare a sermon. My standard answer nowadays is 61 years. Sermons come from a life of learning and living. But of course, what they’re asking is how many …

Participate

Lara Schopp Articles, Connect, Serve, Staff Messages

By Barbara George, Director of Membership Development I can still hear those words in my ear: “Life is a participatory sport.” All I had to do was look around and I’d see all sorts of opportunities. In our home something always needed to be done, so at any outward sign of …

Hurricane Harvey Disaster Reflection

Lara Schopp Articles, Corey Meyer

We walked into Marcus’ house on Friday morning, just over a year since Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston, TX, area. It was just one of the hundreds of thousands of homes rocked by the winds, rain and flooding sustained over days. It was estimated that over $125 billion dollars worth of damaged was caused by Harvey and nearly 100 fatalities occurred

Light of Christ

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

When she repeated the story, she would pause, turn her head and look out for a moment. I could tell that she was picturing his face and recalling his determination. “The pastor told Dad they didn’t have enough money to build the youth center, and Dad gave the money to make it happen.” Charlotte loved to tell the story. And then Dad’s story became her story.

A Sacred Space

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

My rough estimate is that we have experienced a 350 percent increase in children worshipping! I’m comparing the last three Sundays to the same three Sunday’s last year. The energy, vitality, and warmth of the 9:01 service are palpable.

So, Whats New?

Lara Schopp Articles, Connect, Music Ministry, Staff Messages

Dr. Paul Tucker, Co-Director of Music Each year, at this time, I find myself struggling with conflicting thoughts. School is about to begin again, and while I know from past experience that I won’t hate every minute of my teaching job, I never really feel prepared for what is to …

The American Love Affair

Lara Schopp Articles, Congregational Care, Joe Walker

Rev. Joe Walker, Minister of Congregational Care The automobile– it is quintessentially American, more so than apple pie. It appeals to both our personal and cultural love of “freedom.” It becomes an extension of our personality; frugal or flashy, safe or speedy. We can’t wait to start driving, counting the …

30 Years of Grace and Love

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

You were only 68 years old. Now you are almost 100. I arrived fresh out of graduate school, eager and excited but with a gnawing doubt in the back of my mind…would the church in America actually survive another generation? My favorite scripture was the call from the prophet Micah who demanded that we “do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God.” Surely it was up to us in the church to save the world.

9:01 Creator’s Place

Lara Schopp Articles, Children & Families, Connect, Staff Messages

Lindsay Howes, Director of Children’s Ministries We have been planning and talking and preparing for weeks now for the Creator’s Place for children during the 9:01 service. We were hesitant to commit to certain ideas or crafts or activities until we knew what to expect. Then finally, we realized, we …